Brunch, Lunch, Quick Dinner

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Hash

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So I am back to my regular routine of working in the lab.  Which means, I need to start making lunches and dinners ahead of time.  This recipe a healthy take on a classic hash….no potatoes, no oil, no bacon–but packed with flavor ! Here goes !

Ingredients:

1, 16oz bag of frozen chopped spinach

1 jar of roasted red peppers ( choose your own size based on how much peppers your want)

6 eggs

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

1 tsp of crushed red pepper

salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Sauté spinach, sliced peppers and seasonings till everything has wilted.

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Crack the eggs directly into the pan and transfer then pan to the oven.

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Bake for 10-15mins till the eggs set.  This also based on personal preference.  Some people like their yolks runny and some like them set.  So adjust your back time according.

Serve family style–for brunch, lunch or dinner.  Crusty bread and a light fruit salad would complete the meal !

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Classics, Comfort food, Indian, Poultry

Murgh Saagwalla ( Spinach and Chicken Curry)

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This is the meal I want on my death bed.  Palak or Saag in Hindi means Spinach and there is a place back home that makes the best Palak Panner (Indian cheese).  This is a traditional North Indian dish and every family has there own variation—like any traditional dish.  My mother has her own take on it (maybe I will try it soon) but this is a recipe from Madhur Jaffery.  It tastes really good—it is a little involved, but is vary flavorful and please don’t be afraid, you can completely control the spice level according to your families’ taste.  So here we go !

Ingredients:

1lb of chicken cut into pieces

2 chopped tomatoes

16 oz of drained, chopped, frozen spinach

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To Fry:

1 medium onion sliced

To Blend:

2 chopped onions

2” piece of ginger

4 garlic cloves

Seasoning the oil:

2-3 Tbsp of vegetable oil

5 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

Other Spices:

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp cayenne pepper

6 tbsp of plain yogurt

Salt to season.

Method:

Heat a 1tbsp of oil in a pot and fry sliced onions till golden and set aside.

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In the meantime blend onions, ginger and garlic.

In the same pot where you fried the onion, add the remaining oil and the whole cardamom pods and cinnamon stick.

Add the blended onion mixture and sauté till the raw smell in gone and the paste turns pale brown.

Add cumin, coriander and cayenne and sauté till golden brown.

Next add the yogurt, 1 Tbsp at a time and slowly stir the mixture till all the yogurt is added the sauce come together .

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Next add the tomatoes, spinach, chicken.

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Season with salt and cover with water and allow to simmer on medium heat for 30 mins till the water evaporates and the sauce thickens.

Serve piping hot with flatbread or basmati rice !

 

 

 

 

Salad, Sides

Pear, Fennel,walnut, cranberry salad

Roasted fruits and nuts tossed with peppery arugula and fresh baby spinach makes for a decadent an elegant salad fit for guests and a humble lunch box ! My salad for my Autumn Brunch.

Ingredients:

8 Bartlett pears, diced

1 whole fennel bulb chopped

12 oz dried cranberries

8 oz of walnuts

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp brown sugar

8 oz baby spinach

8 oz arugula

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar.

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Toss butter, sugar with fruits and nuts and roast till tender and brown.

Toss with salad greens and balsamic vinegar and serve warm !

 

Italian, Quick Dinner

Sausage Spinach Saute

A hearty, speedy skillet dinner.  With hints of Italian flavors, this dish would pair really well warm, crusty garlic bread on a cool summer evening.  With just a few ingredients that don’t even need to be fresh (i.e canned and frozen will work) and you can have dinner on the table in less than an hour.  Here is what you will need.

Ingredients:

1 lb of spicy Italian sausage

16 oz bag of thawed frozen spinach

1 medium onion sliced

1 can of white beans

1 Tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of chopped garlic

A dash of nutmeg

salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

Method:

In a skillet add the sausage links and fill with a little bit of water and 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Cook the sausage till cooked through and the casing in lightly browned.

Remove the sausage, and to the same pan add the remaining oil and add the garlic.  Saute till fragrant and then add the onions.  Saute till pale golden.

Then add the spinach and the beans and saute till the spinach wilts down.

Season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and then toss in the sausages.

Plate up hot, straight from the skillet with some garlic bread !!!!!

Comfort food, Dinner, Middle Eastern

Syrian Spinach and Lentils

I have to thank ABC’s Diane Sawyer for this recipe.  During her travels to the Middle East she had the opportunity to taste the local food and share it with us back in the states.  This recipe visually looks ok, sounds good , but tastes  AMAZING.  I grew up with a lot of lentil soup and generally enjoy the flavor, but this was a great combination and I will be making this often.  It is loaded in magnesium and folic acids–so it is a super yummy way to get a lot of good stuff into your diet.  Not to mention that it is hearty and filling.  So here it is.

Ingredients

1 16 oz frozen leaf spinach

1 medium-size onion, peeled

5 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 cup dried lentils, picked over, washed, and drained

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cumin seeds

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Directions

Cut the onion in half lengthwise, and then cut the halves into fine half rings.

Heat the oil in and add the onion and garlic.

Stir and saute for 2 minutes.

Now put in the lentils and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil.

Cover, lower heat and simmer about 25 minutes or until lentils are just tender.

Add the thawed and drained spinach leaves along with salt and cumin.

Stir to mix and bring to a simmer.

Cover and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes or until spinach is tender and well-mixed into the lentils. Stir gently a few times during this period.

Put in the black pepper and mix again.

This dish may easily be made ahead of time and reheated.

 

Salad

Spinach Salad with a Strawberry, Basil, Red Wine reduction

I bought 2 lbs of strawberries and living by myself you only eat so many berries before they start taking a turn for the worse.  My solution to salvage fruit/veggies that could get spoiled, is to cook them.  They retain their flavor, its healthy and you won’t have to throw out food.  This is a warm reduction that you add to fresh baby spinach.  It’s a warm salad.  Feel free to add almonds, bacon bits, and even more fresh fruit like apples and pears.  Here goes.

Ingredients:

1/2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp of fennel seeds

I medium onion sliced

1/2 cup red wine (any red wine–I normally use up half opened bottles)

sliced strawberries ( I had about 1.5 cups, use as much as you like, but keep in mind the more you use, the sweeter the reduction)

5-7 leaves of  fresh basil, sliced

Fresh cracked black pepper ( no salt).

Baby Spinach, enough to build a salad of your serving choice.

Method:

1.Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan and when warm, add the fennel.  Stir for a few secs till fragrant and then add onions

2. Saute onions till pale and then add red wine and allow to reduce, stirring in between to prevent sticking to the bottom

3.  Add sliced strawberries and basil and allow to reduce.  The strawberry will cook down and the sugars will allow the onions to carmelize.

4. Taste the reduction, if it is too sweet, you can counter-act the sweetness with a few dashes of balsamic vinegar.

5. Toss warm (not hot) reduction with baby spinach leaves and add freshly cracked black pepper.  I garnished with honeyed oats (granola would work too !!!)